Fun in the Afternoon: The Many Faces of Lucky

The time seems ripe to look back on Lucky Spencer, given… well, this:

(They just can’t wait to erase Greg Vaughn from existence, can they? You stay classy, ABC promo monkeys!)

Anyway… THE RETURN OF JONATHAN JACKSON IS NIGH! As in TODAY! Holy crap!

As you may recall, we were pretty excited to hear about that. We’re not delusional; we know it’s probably going to suck. But at least it will suck in a way that’s slightly different than normal, and that should provide some interesting new mocking material for a month or two. Cross your fingers, everyone!

In preparation, let’s take a trip down memory lane to trace how the son of one of the most famous super couples of all time became the show’s biggest whipping boy:

despair-divider

The Jonathan Jackson Years, 1993-1999
(aka: The Golden Age)

Original Recipe Lucky was whip smart, good with computers, fast on his feet, mature beyond his years, and the apple of his family’s eye. He could be sensitive, loving, and empathetic. He could also be arrogant, judgmental, and cruel.

In short, he was a complex character, a believable teenager, and an interesting amalgamation of the flaws and virtues of both his legendary parents.

(Part Two)

The Jacob Young Years, 2000-2003
(aka, The Unmitigated Disaster Years)

Poor Jacob Young. It’s really not his fault. He was horribly miscast to begin with, and being saddled with really unflattering writing didn’t help. The Ice Princess Redux? Endgame? Dead Ted? Face of Deception? Ugh.

He looked like a GQ model. He had zero chemistry with Rebecca Herbst. And the nickname Shouty McYellerson really did not spring out of nowhere. The dude was loud and obnoxious and pretty much the physical and temperamental opposite of Jonathan Jackson’s scrawny, clever Lucky in every way.

All in all: a disaster. I mean, there’s only so much brainwashing can excuse, you know?

The Greg Vaughn Years, 2003-2009
(aka, The Chump Years)

Greg Vaughn seems like a hard worker and a genuinely nice guy, but boy… his Lucky has been the epitome of Pretty But Dumb for almost his entire 6+ year run on the show.

GV’s Lucky never won at anything, was perpetually being lied to and otherwise disrespected by his loved ones, and at times seemed barely capable of crossing town on his own, much less the country. He was also painfully underwritten, a fact which even Vaughn will admit:

MICHAEL FAIRMAN: Is Lucky’s drug addiction storyline the work you are most proud of?
GREG VAUGHN: Obviously, because it was the only story I was ever given.

I don’t begrudge him his bitterness. Lucky’s been treated like crap by the writing for the last decade, and while I don’t think Vaughn is the strongest actor, he was capable of a lot more than what he was given. His brief but SMOKING relationship with Sam certainly proved that the lack of sparks with Elizabeth was not entirely his fault.

The one consistent bright spot of Vaughn’s tenure, however, has been Lucky’s evolution as a father. He’s great with the kids who play Jake and Cameron, and it translates really well on screen. If Jonathan Jackson’s redux version of the character loses that sense of closeness with the boys, I’ll be really sad.

(Parts 1-5)

despair-divider

Okay, confession time: I wish Greg Vaughn the best, but looking at those old school Lucky/Liz clips has made me unreasonably excited for today’s show. I wasn’t even that into them in the 90s — Sonny and Brenda were way too distracting. But in retrospect, they’re totally adorable.

(I’m setting myself up for a huge disappointment on this one, aren’t I?)

I DON’T CARE! I’M STILL EXCITED!

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10 thoughts on “Fun in the Afternoon: The Many Faces of Lucky

  1. OMG!! Those vintage JJ clips were just wonderful. I’m excited about his return but I expect lots of suck. I didn’t watch the JY clips. I can’t relive those years. Not even, via YouTube. Nothing but mess. LOL!! On to the GV clips….Man, LuSam were SMOKIN’ HOT. I will miss them so.

    Oh,tenillypo. Original LnL2 were simply beautiful. However, my Sonny/Brenda love tops all.

    • It’s weird, because I was a teenager when those originally aired. But I was much more into the “adult” love story of S&B. Now, as a thirty year old, I look at the clips and find them much more sweet and appealing now than I ever did when I was the same age as the characters…

      Lucky and Sam is one of the biggest wasted opportunities of the recent writing, IMO.

  2. I just watched the JJ scenes. I really enjoyed GV’s portrayal of Lucky but HOLY CRAP. GV’s Lucky and JJ’s Lucky are like night and day. Such a difference. JJ adds so much depth and layers without saying one word. That’s a gift. Lucky’s voiceover, while Luke catches Nik/Liz on the docks, was soapy goodness. My expectations are still in the gutter but today’s episode wasn’t half bad. Dare I say it was good. I know I just jinxed myself. LOL!!

    I love Dante and Lulu together. They are so adorable.

    • OMG, ditto!!! Dante and Lulu are awesome.

      I can’t for the life of me get on board with the story of Liz wanting Nik over Lucky – and that goes for either Jonathan Jackson’s or Greg Vaughan’s portrayal. It just does not compute. Every time they run a Liz/Nik flashback or fantasy scene, I want to vomit.

      You’re right, though, JJ is very soulful as always : )

  3. I totally agree with you about the missed opportunity of LuSam. I thought they sizzled with heat and for the first time in a long time I actually looked forward to seeing Lucky on screen. GV & RH had absolutely no chemistry whatsoever and were just a waste of space. Somewhere along the line they turned Lucky into a joke and Liz into a bland miss goody two shoes. I watched yesterdays episode with JJ’s return and although the writing sucked in most places I thought JJ did a wonderful job and it made me feel as if we were finally getting the character we loved back. Not that any of this was GV’s fault he did the best job that he could, but the scene with AG & JJ just spoke volumes in how little was said. If the scene would have been with GV & AG I have a feeling it would have been loud and forced. Hopefully the writers will get Lucky back on track.

    • I think it definitely helped that the writing was much more focused on Lucky’s POV and favorable toward him, but yes… JJ brings a very different vibe and a hell of a lot of nuance that GV just didn’t. And it was very, very welcome.

  4. GH should have split LnL666666666 after the paternity reveal at the B&W Ball, LuSam was hot and Liason was moving along in their own storyline. It was a win win for all involved and then along came Frons with his pitchfork, all because it wasn’t his idea for LuSam and Liason…..

    • Yeah, I’m pretty baffled by the point of resetting Lucky/Liz and Jason/Sam as if nothing ever happened. It at least works better for me with JJ in the role because I can believe Liz might still be in love with his Lucky. I never felt that with GV. But it still makes a waste of the last 2+ years of story for all four characters to just undo everything that was done…

  5. It really sucks that now there IS no Lucky Spencer, and the exit they gave him was the worst! He just leaves his kisd to find himself because he can’t be around Elizabeth? WTF? Way to ruin a legacy character. Luke and Laura’s SON was treated like crap to prop Jason. I loved JJ’s Lucky but I also loved GV’s Lucky and felt it was a pretty crummy way to treat an actor: Giving him nothing than firing him. I still miss LuSam and felt they could have had so much more, I really wanted a LuSam baby and a LuSam wedding, as did many LuSammers but no, can’t have nice things. That’s why I was less than enthusiastic for JaSam to get that same story. And it’s like LuSam never happened once JJ returned, so we’re supposed to believe Lucky and Sam were never together? Seriously?
    I hope somehow, RC can bring Lucky back, though JJ and GV are both occupied.

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